Help for disabled user in Windows 10

  1.    18 Feb 2016 #1

    Help for disabled user in Windows 10

    I am helping a friend who has cerebral palsy, lives in a group home, but loves to use her computer to play children games. Until now she has used a pc running Windows XP which I had customized for her and which she used happily for years. She just received a new desktop PC running Windows 10 which I will need to set up for her but I am not an expert on Windows 10. Because she is mentally retarded (mental age 5) and physically handicapped she needs certain customizations which I will list here. Any help with how to do this will be greatly appreciated.

    1. In her prior XP PC, I had set up shortcut icons on her desktop for all her games so she can just click on them to start them. She does that very well. Because of her eratic hand motion sometimes these desktop icons get moved around or even deleted. So, I set the XP desktop so that when she reboots, the desktop I had arranged for her gets restored "just as I had it", ignoring whatever changes she had made. Not sure I remember how I achieved this.
    How can I achieve that in Windows 10? How do I lock her desktop arrangement so it restores itself as set up on reboot?

    2. I will also obviously not leave her as an administrator user. I will make her a limited user. Is it possible to make it impossible for her to access the computer's files so she cannot accidentally delete or change anything?

    3. She has sole access to this Windows 10 pc. So she does not need to "login". How do I remove the need to enter a username and password on boot up, while leaving a hidden administrator user for me to use to install and fix things?

    4. She does not have internet access because she could not use it alone and I know how to customize the taskbar and the Start menu so it does not provide access to items that could be harmful. Any other suggestions to protect her pc from her causing havoc?

    Thank you for any help you can provide.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Clintlgm's Avatar
    Posts : 899
    Win 10 pro Upgraded from 8.1
       19 Feb 2016 #2

    I can suggest installing Classic Shell, this will allow you to set up her desktop pretty much as it has always been in XP. Set her up a local account and disable the Online account as it won't work with out internet access.
    With Classic Shell installed and configured most of your questions will be answered by, set up pretty much as you had the settings in XP I think its been years since I used XP but User Account are basically the same.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3. Fafhrd's Avatar
    Posts : 1,929
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       19 Feb 2016 #3

    You seem to be looking for what used to be called "Kiosk Mode" where the users cannot permanently change the outward functioning of the machine, and any changes happening during a session are reset the next time the system is used. These systems have a back door for administrative access. Modern variants of this don't use the desktop, and are limited to the secure app environment of the Tiled Modern interface, certainly not what your friend was used to in XP.

    One such system was available from Microsoft and free for use in XP, I believe, called "SteadyState" but was killed off in 2010: Microsoft kills Windows SteadyState | InfoWorld.

    Libraries and Schools found this very useful. There were Group Policy settings published for Windows 7 to create a "SteadyState" environment, but the links I saved to 3 documents outlining how to set this up have now gone from the Microsoft Server.

    A search to existing "SteadyState" documents available is:
    Windows steady state - Search

    It now seems that Microsoft uses the term "Assigned Access" for this type of use in Windows 8 and above which limit user activity to "Tablet Mode" i.e. tiles only, no desktop, but most of the examples given are for single App access.

    Microsoft Assigned Access links:

    Assigned access: FAQ - Windows Help

    I don't know if you have disability support communities/groups/charities in your area who could lend you an IT technician to provide you with support to setup and maintain such a system for your friend. I wish you both the very best of luck in finding a solution. Microsoft itself is a well known charitable donor and may have Microsoft Charity Partners who can help in your area:

    search term: Microsoft Charity Partners and Communities
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4.    19 Feb 2016 #4

    If you setup pc to start in tablet mode, and full start screen mode, then pin the various apps with large icons to the start menu rather than the desktop, it should be easier to select apps, and it is harder to drag stuff around so much.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 15,236
    Windows 10 Pro
       19 Feb 2016 #5

    Assigned Access will not work in OP's case:

    What's assigned access?

    Assigned access is a setting that lets you restrict a specific standard account to using only one Windows Store app. For example, you can restrict customers at your business to using one app so your PC acts like a kiosk.

    Whenever someone signs in with the specified account, they'll only be able to use that one app. They won't be able to switch apps or close the app using touch gestures, a mouse, the keyboard or hardware buttons. They also won't see any app notifications.

    In my opinion the best option would be using a Guest account. The built-in Guest account is disabled and does not work in Windows 10 but you can create a standard local user account and then set it as a Guest account.

    (Video from Windows 10 instructional videos by Ten Forums members - Windows 10 Forums)

    In the video example above the Guest account will be set up without a password. In OP's case it's better to set a password for this account, then make it sign-in automatically as told in this tutorial: Sign in User Account Automatically at Windows 10 Startup - Windows 10 Forums

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    19 Feb 2016 #6

    You guys are wonderful and very helpful. Thank you for all the suggestions. (Keep them coming if you have more ideas or url links).

    I am familiar with Classic Shell since I use it on my own Windows 8.1 laptop and that might be a good choice here just because of familiarity. I'm not as familiar with tablet mode because I've never personally used it but it would be attractive for her because of the larger "icon" sizes (or whatever they are called). I just have never used it because I set my W8.1 pcs to look like a Windows 7 desktop. :) I'm going to a local library later today to get out some books on Windows 10 and will research that to learn more, etc. Next time I visit the group home I will also try to figure out what setting I used on her current PC to make its desktop revert to its original icon arrangement when she reboots. Maybe it was an add-on which would make it easier to discover. I just don't remember. What I had done worked very well for years.

    Guest user is also an excellent suggestion I had not thought of. I will explore that. I've searched for IT help locally in the past but have not had much luck. Will try again.

    ***I'm now decluttering the new pc of all the junk ware Dell puts on it. But how many of the windows 10 built built-in "apps" and background stuff can I safely uninstall without running into trouble? She's not likely to use any of them and they probably just slow things down including at bootup......

    BTW, (in case someone else finds this useful) one very useful software I installed on her old pc and will install on the new one is Alcohol120. Because she has trouble manually changing game cds and many games require the original cd to be in the cd drive to run even with a cd image on the hdd, Alcohol120 creates up to 31 virtual CD drives which appear as simple desktop shortcuts which solves that problem. Could be useful in case any of you have young children.

    Again, thank you all for the suggestions. You are very kind to share your expertise. She loves her computer and spends hours on it.
    Last edited by Curious; 19 Feb 2016 at 09:47.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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